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October 1, 2012
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  Leadership and Management 
  • When to tell employees what to do
    Telling employees how to get things done is a management style of the past, even though it is a default style for many executives, writes Brian Evje. It's OK to take a prescriptive tone when there is a crisis or in the early stages of a turnaround. But generally, executives should be more collaborative because complex business problems are rarely solved alone. Inc. online (free registration) (9/25)
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  Budgeting and Finance 
  • Fla. county approves budget that will lower taxes for most residents
    The Brevard County, Fla., Commission approved a budget and property tax rate last week that will lower or stabilize county taxes for about 83% of local property owners and that is 6.3% less than the county's current budget. The vote went through 4-1 because one commissioner wanted to take money out of the county's reserves to further cut costs. Brevard County will make about $2.05 million less in property tax revenue with the approved budget. Florida Today (Melbourne) (tiered subscription model) (9/28) Email this Story
  • N.J. foreclosures could mean downgraded credit for local governments
    With the second highest foreclosure rate in the country, Moody's Investor Service said foreclosures and delinquent real estate mortgages keep taxable values of properties low in New Jersey, which means less revenue for local governments. The credit rating agency revised its outlook on the state's "AA-minus" general obligation rating from stable to negative last month, and the percentage of seriously delinquent mortgages in the state rose in the second quarter of this year while the nationwide percentage fell. Moody's said it expects New Jersey's economic recovery to be slower than the rest of the country. Reuters (9/28)
  Emergency Management and Public Safety 
  • Deputy police chief: DUIs in Ill. city stabilized thanks to liquor laws
    Lake Forest, Ill., Deputy Police Chief Glenn Burmeister said the number of driving under the influence arrests in the city is lower than in other Illinois cities. He said while the number has not gone down in recent years it also has not gone up, and he attributes that to the city's laws limiting liquor licenses to business that also sell food and prohibiting alcohol service after 1 a.m. He added that the number of Lake Forest high school students who reported participating in underage drinking is higher than average, but that there has been a significant decrease in the number of DUI arrests among them. Forest-Lake Bluff, Ill. (9/27) Email this Story
  • Calif. county offers free emergency app
    San Diego County now offers a free app with emergency updates and information for residents, county officials announced last week. The app, which was developed by the county, offers news and maps on emergency events, such as earthquakes or wildfires, allows residents to see whether their neighborhoods are at risk, updates information on road damage and closures and provides locations of the nearest shelters in case residents are ever displaced. The app is available for iPads, iPhones and Android devices. North County Times (Temecula, Calif.) (9/27) Email this Story
  Economic Development, Restoration and Sustainability  
  • In first step to reviving island, Va. university removes bridge
    Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., is excavating a bridge that has been obstructing water travel in the James River for the past 27 years. The bridge removal is the first step in a project to revive Treasure Island and turn it into a recreational facility that could include athletic fields, beaches, docs, regattas and trails. However, the college still faces some resident opposition over long-term plans for the island, noise, property values and traffic, and hopes its plan for Treasure Island will have been approved by the time the bridge removal is complete. The News & Advance (Lynchburg, Va.) (9/27) Email this Story
  Legislation, Policy and Grants 
  • Iowa City is newest to restrict payday loans, state should be next
    Iowa City, Iowa, passed zoning laws that restrict payday-loan shops from locating close to apartment buildings, churches, homes, parks and schools, and it is one of five cities in the state that have tried to crack down on the lenders, which lure borrowers into a cycle of debt and cost workers about $36 million every year. Hugh Espey, executive director of the Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, writes that the state Legislature should be next to pass laws restricting the lenders, specifically capping interest rates on the payday loans at 36%. A state bill to do so was killed by a committee during the 2012 legislative session. The Des Moines Register (Iowa)/A Better Iowa blog (9/27) Email this Story
  • Austin City Council becomes first in Texas to back same-sex marriage
    The Austin, Texas, City Council voted unanimously last week to formally endorse legalizing same-sex marriage in the state. It is the first city in Texas to pass such an endorsement, and although 63% of Texans said they support some form of civil unions for same-sex couples in a 2010 University of Texas survey, the state does not currently recognize same-sex marriages. (Fort Worth, Texas) (9/28) Email this Story
  Public Works and Infrastructure 
  • Wash. park will be expanded, redesigned for kids of all abilities
    The Rotary Club of Bellevue, Wash., and the city's government are teaming up to expand the Bellevue Downtown Park and redesign it so it will be accessible to residents of all abilities. The Rotary Club plans to raise $3.5 million to expand the park to be five times its current size and to build climbable and touchable sculptures, a music plaza and a Dr. Seuss inspired "Whimsy Plaza" that will be accessible to children with disabilities. The Rotary Club and the city of Bellevue hope to complete the project by 2015., Wash. (9/27) Email this Story
  Recognitions and Transitions 
  • Calif. city recognized for successful financial strategy
    San Carlos, Calif., received the Helen Putnam Award in the Internal Administration category from the League of California Cities for its financial strategy program that helped the city resolve a $3.5 million budget deficit and increase public services over the course of 18 months. The program resolved the structural general fund budget deficit and increased services in the fire, parks maintenance, police and recreation services departments. The Helen Putnam Award for Excellence is given to cities that are recognized as delivering high levels and quality of service to residents in an effective manner. Carlos, Calif. (9/27) Email this Story
  ICMA News 
  • Sign up for the Free ICMA Conference App
    To enhance your ICMA conference experience, we've developed a state-of-the-art mobile app that will put important conference information right at your fingertips. With the conference app, you can:
    • Create your own custom schedule
    • View session handouts
    • Take notes and export them to your e-mail
    • Connect with other attendees, speakers, and exhibitors
    • View award-winning Phoenix city content
    • And much, much more!
    To download the mobile app, search "ICMA 98th Annual Conference" in your app store or plug into your device's browser. If you're using an iPhone, iPad, Android or BlackBerry device, you'll be directed to the location from which you can download the appropriate native app. If you're using another type of device, you'll be directed to the mobile web version of the ICMA 98th Annual Conference app. (Note: A wireless Internet connection or 3G network is required to use this feature.)

    The first time you open the app, it will ask for your username and password. Use the same information you use when signing on to the ICMA website.

    Don't have an ICMA username and password? Sign up is easy and free. Visit and click on "Create Account" (top right corner) and sign up! For more information about how to connect and engage with the Annual Conference, read more here.
  • $100 Early Bird Savings End Friday for ICMA’s Virtual Conference. Bring This Premier Professional Development Opportunity to You and Your Staff, Virtually.
    If travel restrictions or budget constraints prevent you from coming to Phoenix this year, here's a low-cost, no-travel alternative that lets you bring ICMA to your organization through your computer! The Virtual Conference option for the 98th ICMA Annual Conference, Oct. 7 to 10, highlights the best of ICMA's premier professional development event. By registering for this event, you'll gain access to the live stream of more than 20 educational sessions, including all the keynotes! You'll also have on-demand access to the content, allowing you and your staff access to the archives until Dec. 31. One full virtual conference registration fee allows you and your staff to view the live sessions together via the Internet in your conference room or individually from your desktop or coffee shop. For more details and to register, visit
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In the cellars of the night, when the mind starts moving around old trunks of bad times, the pain of this and the shame of that, the memory of a small boldness is a hand to hold."
--John Leonard,
American critic

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